Kershaw in US$215m deal
Pitcher Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a US$215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a person familiar with the negotiations said, making him baseball’s first player with a US$30 million average salary. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced. Kershaw receives the most lucrative deal for a pitcher, breaking the mark of US$180 million set by Justin Verlander in March last year for his seven-year contract with Detroit. Kershaw would have been eligible for free agency after the upcoming season if the new deal had not been reached. The average salary of US$30.7 million tops the previous high of US$27.5 million, set by the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez as part of a 10-year agreement signed in December 2007. While Roger Clemens had a contract with a listed salary of US$28 million with the Yankees in 2007, he joined the team in June and actually made US$17.4 million.
Brett Emerton retires
Former Blackburn Rovers captain Brett Emerton has announced he is retiring from soccer, leaving the sport as Australia’s third most-capped player. Emerton played 95 times for Australia — only Mark Schwarzer and Lucas Neill have played more — making his last appearance at the East Asian Cup qualifiers in December 2012. The 34-year-old played professionally for 18 years, making 247 appearances for Blackburn between 2003 and 2011. He then returned to Australian soccer’s A-League with Sydney FC, but a back injury has allowed him to play only nine times this season. Emerton will play his final game tomorrow against A-league champions Central Coast.
Hull sign Everton’s Jelavic
Nikica Jelavic joined Hull City from Premier League rivals Everton on Wednesday after signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Tigers. The 28-year-old Croatia striker, who has joined Hull for a reported club record ￡6.5 million (US$10.6 million) rising to ￡7.5 million if they stay in the Premier League, is set to go into Tigers manager Steve Bruce’s side to play Norwich City tomorrow. “As soon as the manager called me, I realized straight away that he was really interested in signing me and that it is a great opportunity for me to come here,” Jelavic told Hull’s Web site on Wednesday. “It is a good club, and we have a good squad. We talked a little bit, but it didn’t take long to realize that it was right for me. “It’s a newly-promoted club, but I can see straight away that there is a lot of ambition here within the club and I hope that we can build on the great start to the season and become a really strong Premier League team over the coming years.” That Jelavic was on the verge of leaving Merseyside became clear last week when Hull and Everton announced they had agreed a fee for the forward.
Matic returns to Chelsea
Chelsea re-signed Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic on a five-and-a-half-year contract from Portuguese giants Benfica on Wednesday, the two clubs announced. In a statement to the Lisbon stock exchange, Benfica said that they will receive 25 million euros (US$34 million) for the sale of Matic, who is now set for his second spell at Stamford Bridge. After arriving from MSK Kosice in 2009, he made three substitute appearances in the 2009-2010 season and left in January 2011 as part of the deal which brought David Luiz from Benfica to west London.